Why do designers hate the quarterstaff?

Every edition of D&D designers seem to have a low regard for the quarterstaff. And now I see that they've given it a 1d4 damage die.

Sigh.

Leverage does most of the damage with a melee weapon and the humble quarterstaff is a good 5' to 6' long. It should be doing at least 1d8 in D&D Next. I want just one edition of D&D where I can play a lightly armoured quarterstaff fighter without being completely overshadowed by every other character.

Who's with me? 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

Every edition of D&D designers seem to have a low regard for the quarterstaff. And now I see that they've given it a 1d4 damage die.

Sigh.

Leverage does most of the damage with a melee weapon and the humble quarterstaff is a good 5' to 6' long. It should be doing at least 1d8 in D&D Next. I want just one edition of D&D where I can play a lightly armoured quarterstaff fighter without being completely overshadowed by every other character.

Who's with me? 



d8 is too high because the quarterstaff is a double weapon. Double bladed swords are d6 and the standard rule is finess is equal to one damage dice so the quarterstaff is one die less than the double bladed sword. With two attacks of d4 damage per turn, you're going to be dealing a good bit of damage overall so I wouldn't say you were overshadowed.
The Oberoni fallacy only applies to broken rules, not rules you don't like. If a rule you don't like can be easily ignored, it should exist in the game for those who will enjoy it.
Double bladed swords are d6 and the standard rule is finess is equal to one damage dice so the quarterstaff is one die less than the double bladed sword.


Double-bladed swords are the dumbest weapon to ever pollute the D&D waters. They should be excised from the system and the quarterstaff take its place at 1d6.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

Double bladed swords are d6 and the standard rule is finess is equal to one damage dice so the quarterstaff is one die less than the double bladed sword.


Double-bladed swords are the dumbest weapon to ever pollute the D&D waters. They should be excised from the system and the quarterstaff take its place at 1d6.


I'd be fine with d6 as that would make a quaterstaff mechanically equivalent to two shortswords which I don't have a problem with.
The Oberoni fallacy only applies to broken rules, not rules you don't like. If a rule you don't like can be easily ignored, it should exist in the game for those who will enjoy it.
I don't really see it. A staff, even iron-shod, does not cause as much damage as a short sword on either glancing blow or a perfect strike.
I don't really see it. A staff, even iron-shod, does not cause as much damage as a short sword on either glancing blow or a perfect strike.



Eh.  An average blow with either of them is about the same.

The short sword is more likely to kill you instantly, though; its curve is weighted differently than the staff's curve.  Say, hypothetically, 1d8 vs 2d4.  The average is similar but the d8 is more likely to come up with an 8.


(I reocgnize that 1d8 is not the damage number for a shortsword, I'm just using these dice to show the idea, and most D&D players intuitively understand simple dice math.)
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Well the staff is a deceptively simple weapon with all sorts of tactical options, thusands of years of combat development have refined it's use to the point that it has become the symbol of the canny and experienced warrior who lives to pass on their knowledge.

SO obviously it's not allowed to be cool. 
I don't really see it. A staff, even iron-shod, does not cause as much damage as a short sword on either glancing blow or a perfect strike.



Eh.  An average blow with either of them is about the same.



On what basis would you say that?

The staff has two major disadvantages in damage. It's light so it's impact is low relative to a short sword (ir even an steel rod) and it's much more flexible so it doesn't transfer energy efficiently to the target. It's not an edged weapon; even against armor (non-metallic) a short sword delivers more impact damage because of the concentration of the impact. 
On what basis would you say that?

The staff has two major disadvantages in damage. It's light so it's impact is low relative to a short sword (ir even an steel rod) and it's much more flexible so it doesn't transfer energy efficiently to the target. It's not an edged weapon; even against armor (non-metallic) a short sword delivers more impact damage because of the concentration of the impact. 


Physics fail.

Maybe you're thinking of a different weapon. A quarterstaff isn't light or particularly flexible. It's 1"-1.5" thick hardwood about 6' long. The principles behind two-handed sword fighting are much the same as with wielding a quarterstaff only the stave has far more versatility to it.

As for the edge, I think you overestimate what a blade can do. Even light armour will protect against most of a blade's cutting damage and most of the damage done by a blade is actually bludgeoning from the force given by leverage. It was only when you hit a vulnerable, unarmoured area that you did any cutting damage.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

Quarterstaffs do 1d4 damage because they're effectively double clubs.
Quarterstaffs do 1d4 damage because they're effectively double clubs.


No... no they're not.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

Well the staff is a deceptively simple weapon with all sorts of tactical options, thusands of years of combat development have refined it's use to the point that it has become the symbol of the canny and experienced warrior who lives to pass on their knowledge.

SO obviously it's not allowed to be cool. 

+1

Few people realize that bo stave experts regularly defeat katana (OMG! KATANA!?!) experts in both real and simulated combat. The leverage and multiple effective damage zones/ranges make it both more versatile and more deadly.
Well the staff is a deceptively simple weapon with all sorts of tactical options, thusands of years of combat development have refined it's use to the point that it has become the symbol of the canny and experienced warrior who lives to pass on their knowledge.

SO obviously it's not allowed to be cool. 

+1 Few people realize that bo stave experts regularly defeat katana (OMG! KATANA!?!) experts in both real and simulated combat. The leverage and multiple effective damage zones/ranges make it both more versatile and more deadly.




Yes, I heard one of the greatest Samurais in history used a quarterstaff, as in the end it was superior to all other melee weapons.
Every edition of D&D designers seem to have a low regard for the quarterstaff. And now I see that they've given it a 1d4 damage die.

Sigh.

Leverage does most of the damage with a melee weapon and the humble quarterstaff is a good 5' to 6' long. It should be doing at least 1d8 in D&D Next. I want just one edition of D&D where I can play a lightly armoured quarterstaff fighter without being completely overshadowed by every other character.

Who's with me? 



I agree and also an extra -1 for the double-sword.

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Part of what it comes down to is how hard do they want to make the quarterstaff be to used. If they want it to be a simple weapon, available to pretty much any farmer, then it's going to work as it does now. If they want to make it martial, it should be bumped up to 1d6 per side.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing Quarterstaff become martial and Staff (i.e. mid-sized club) become the simple weapon of farmers and wizards (maybe 1d8 Two Handed, with or without finesse, IDK). This separates out two concepts that have molded into a single one over the years.
I'd like to see the quarterstaff as the heavy weapon for non-martial characters. If you want a one-handed weapon, you have a club; if you want a finesse weapon, then you have the dagger; if you want a heavy weapon, you want a big stick. That's 1d6, 1d4, and 1d8. Seriously, who ever uses a greatclub? There's no reason to take such an iconic weapon as the staff and pigeonhole it as only useful for one obscure fighting style.

Of course, I also wish they'd do justice to the sling, but that's never going to happen. 

The metagame is not the game.

I'd like to see the quarterstaff as the heavy weapon for non-martial characters. If you want a one-handed weapon, you have a club; if you want a finesse weapon, then you have the dagger; if you want a heavy weapon, you want a big stick. That's 1d6, 1d4, and 1d8. Seriously, who ever uses a greatclub? There's no reason to take such an iconic weapon as the staff and pigeonhole it as only useful for one obscure fighting style.

Of course, I also wish they'd do justice to the sling, but that's never going to happen. 



 Bizarre we've been playing retroclones and the PCs are using all sorts of weapons. A fighter is tanking around with a staff of striking and he can't even use the striking part of the staff. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

And why does the Trident not have the thrown property, I mean, Brick Tamlin threw one in a guy's heart, and killed him!
I'd like to see the quarterstaff as the heavy weapon for non-martial characters. If you want a one-handed weapon, you have a club; if you want a finesse weapon, then you have the dagger; if you want a heavy weapon, you want a big stick. That's 1d6, 1d4, and 1d8. Seriously, who ever uses a greatclub? There's no reason to take such an iconic weapon as the staff and pigeonhole it as only useful for one obscure fighting style.

Of course, I also wish they'd do justice to the sling, but that's never going to happen. 




I have a monk using a sling right now, what would you suggest to give the sling more love?
the problem with the quaerstaff is that there are difrent fighting styles using it.

1) a style where you keep your hands quite far apart on the staff and make jabs with the end using it as a dual weapon equal to 2 clubs, dealing 1d4 damage.

2) where you slide both hands to one end of the staff when you strike  using the full length of the staff using it more like a 2 handed weapon, if used like this it should do more damage then 1d4.
the problem with the quaerstaff is that there are difrent fighting styles using it.

1) a style where you keep your hands quite far apart on the staff and make jabs with the end using it as a dual weapon equal to 2 clubs, dealing 1d4 damage.

2) where you slide both hands to one end of the staff when you strike  using the full length of the staff using it more like a 2 handed weapon, if used like this it should do more damage then 1d4.




So, equivalent to dual-wielding clubs, or wielding a greatclub?
On what basis would you say that?

The staff has two major disadvantages in damage. It's light so it's impact is low relative to a short sword (ir even an steel rod) and it's much more flexible so it doesn't transfer energy efficiently to the target. It's not an edged weapon; even against armor (non-metallic) a short sword delivers more impact damage because of the concentration of the impact. 


Physics fail.

Maybe you're thinking of a different weapon. A quarterstaff isn't light or particularly flexible. It's 1"-1.5" thick hardwood about 6' long. The principles behind two-handed sword fighting are much the same as with wielding a quarterstaff only the stave has far more versatility to it.

As for the edge, I think you overestimate what a blade can do. Even light armour will protect against most of a blade's cutting damage and most of the damage done by a blade is actually bludgeoning from the force given by leverage. It was only when you hit a vulnerable, unarmoured area that you did any cutting damage.

That's not a physics fail. That's a misconception of what the staff is. His point is valid for a light, flexible piece of wood.

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Every edition of D&D designers seem to have a low regard for the quarterstaff. And now I see that they've given it a 1d4 damage die.

Sigh.

Leverage does most of the damage with a melee weapon and the humble quarterstaff is a good 5' to 6' long. It should be doing at least 1d8 in D&D Next. I want just one edition of D&D where I can play a lightly armoured quarterstaff fighter without being completely overshadowed by every other character.

Who's with me? 

I understand and agree with your complaint. However, the solution is pretty obvious, I think.

Use the Great Club (2-Handed; d8 bludgeoning). Call it a "Heavy Staff". Problem solved.

If you want a large, hefty piece of wood that you swing for d8 damage, the Great Club or "Heavy Staff" is what you need. (d8; 2H)

If you want a long, nimble stick that you use both ends to hit, then you want the Quarterstaff. (d4/d4; finese; 2H; double)

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

My improvements to the Ranger: A Better Beast Master Ranger.

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

It started as a 2-handed, d8 finesse weapon, maybe they could bring it on par with the katana and make it a 2-handed, d10 finesse weapon (just bludgeoning).
It boils down to whether you consider the staff as balanced versus a club, which I consider the more primitive of the two weapons. With that stated, a balanced staff can easily be 1d6, because a weapon is a combination of balance, weight and ease of use. Knowing different properties for weapons, like balanced, heavy, one hand, two hand, etc. would help determine damage.
Double, d6, Finesse weapon, does sound appealing.
Double, d6, Finesse weapon, does sound appealing.

It might sound appealing but it's unbalanced compared to their martial equivalents (double axe, double sword). That's the reason for the d4. If you want a MARTIAL staff, then by all means make it d6/double/finese. But that wouldn't be a Simple weapon.

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

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Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

Double, d6, Finesse weapon, does sound appealing.

It might sound appealing but it's unbalanced compared to their martial equivalents (double axe, double sword). That's the reason for the d4. If you want a MARTIAL staff, then by all means make it d6/double/finese. But that wouldn't be a Simple weapon.



Ah, of course, yeah, the simple/martial divide, so, d4 sounds okay.
Double, d6, Finesse weapon, does sound appealing.

It might sound appealing but it's unbalanced compared to their martial equivalents (double axe, double sword). That's the reason for the d4. If you want a MARTIAL staff, then by all means make it d6/double/finese. But that wouldn't be a Simple weapon.


Once again, double-dumb weapons should be eliminated.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

Double, d6, Finesse weapon, does sound appealing.

It might sound appealing but it's unbalanced compared to their martial equivalents (double axe, double sword). That's the reason for the d4. If you want a MARTIAL staff, then by all means make it d6/double/finese. But that wouldn't be a Simple weapon.


Once again, double-dumb weapons should be eliminated.

Just because you don't like them doesn't make them dumb. If you don't like them, you don't have the use them.

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

My improvements to the Ranger: A Better Beast Master Ranger.

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

Double bladed swords are d6 and the standard rule is finess is equal to one damage dice so the quarterstaff is one die less than the double bladed sword.


Double-bladed swords are the dumbest weapon to ever pollute the D&D waters. They should be excised from the system and the quarterstaff take its place at 1d6.


I'll see your Double-Sword and raise you a Dire Flail.
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Double bladed swords are d6 and the standard rule is finess is equal to one damage dice so the quarterstaff is one die less than the double bladed sword.


Double-bladed swords are the dumbest weapon to ever pollute the D&D waters. They should be excised from the system and the quarterstaff take its place at 1d6.


I'll see your Double-Sword and raise you a Dire Flail.




How about that spiked-chain?
Double bladed swords are d6 and the standard rule is finess is equal to one damage dice so the quarterstaff is one die less than the double bladed sword.


Double-bladed swords are the dumbest weapon to ever pollute the D&D waters. They should be excised from the system and the quarterstaff take its place at 1d6.


I'll see your Double-Sword and raise you a Dire Flail.




How about that spiked-chain?

A spiked-chain is a great weapon. As long as you only use animate object on it, and never try to actually wield the thing.
Honestly you could proably say the same for the entire flail group.
Double bladed swords are d6 and the standard rule is finess is equal to one damage dice so the quarterstaff is one die less than the double bladed sword.


Double-bladed swords are the dumbest weapon to ever pollute the D&D waters. They should be excised from the system and the quarterstaff take its place at 1d6.


I'll see your Double-Sword and raise you a Dire Flail.




How about that spiked-chain?

A spiked-chain is a great weapon. As long as you only use animate object on it, and never try to actually wield the thing.




Something like the Meteor-Hammer might be a better replacement.
Double bladed swords are d6 and the standard rule is finess is equal to one damage dice so the quarterstaff is one die less than the double bladed sword.


Double-bladed swords are the dumbest weapon to ever pollute the D&D waters. They should be excised from the system and the quarterstaff take its place at 1d6.


I'll see your Double-Sword and raise you a Dire Flail.




How about that spiked-chain?


Dire flail is more bizzare to me. 

I can see ways for a spiked chain to be used.  The way a flail is supposed to work, the Dire Flail would be the most useles weapon evar.
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
Yeah until there are good rules for the quarterstaff reflavoring the "greatclub" into a proper quarterstaff is more likely the easiest answer. Though one could add a property to the staff called Expert which increases the damage because the wielder has prof. with Martial Weapons. This would increase the quarterstaff to being 1d6/1d6, 2H, Finesse.
Re the staff, right now it is clearly the best simple weapon. Making it 1d8 2H would be a downgrade.
Yeah until there are good rules for the quarterstaff reflavoring the "greatclub" into a proper quarterstaff is more likely the easiest answer. Though one could add a property to the staff called Expert which increases the damage because the wielder has prof. with Martial Weapons. This would increase the quarterstaff to being 1d6/1d6, 2H, Finesse.

Or they could have weapon mastery feats, that would up the damage you could do with weapons.
d4 is plenty for a non-lethal weapon, when the short sword, one of the deadliest and most effective weapons is only d6.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

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d4 is plenty for a non-lethal weapon, when the short sword, one of the deadliest and most effective weapons is only d6.


Quarterstaves aren't Non-lethal.
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
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